Chika Chika Idol!

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ANN posted the news about this new idol anime in production!

I’m not so sure about it. Reasons for that is because it’s going to be all CG. CG came a long way in anime from the forgettable Urda to the lovely mix with 2D in Love Live. Plus, even now CG can look terrible and cheap like in Million Doll.

I do like he fact that this is about “underground Idols.” You know, indie idols. The second to do so after Million Doll.

I may finish The Idols of Anime before this comes out since I planned my ending point. But, hey, if this manages to come out sooner than I think it may be a late addition. I’ll try it, but with skepticism.

Part 8: Idol Project, Kidnapp’n Idol and Birth ~ Debut

A series focusing on the history of Japanese idols in Anime and their real life counterparts. Part 8 is on the OVA Idol Project, the first yaoi idol and an old obscure idol PC game. Buy Idol Project: Super Pop Anthology HERE!

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Part 7: Cho Kuse ni Narisou

A series focusing on the history of Japanese idols in Anime and their real life counterparts. Up every Wednesday! This episode focuses on Cho Kuse ni Narisou, a comedy from 1994. As well as the seiyuu boom in the 90’s.

Please someone out there finished subbing this series! It’s almost been 20 years!

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How Long Will The Idol Train Last?

My belief is that the current surge in idol culture in the last 5 years helped grow the interest of idols in anime. It hasn’t been a very huge thing since the 1980’s with Creamy Mami, the anime hit with the modern media mix. We got Idol Densetsu Eriko and a few others but even then, the wave wasn’t as strong as it is now.  Not to discount 1990 – 2010. We had Fancy Lala as Full Moon wo Sagashite as memorable anime. But this half of the decade for anime is the time of Idols.

I for one welcome out idol overlords.
I for one welcome our idol overlords.

So between 2010 to present we have around 15 shows and counting. We can compare this to the moe boom of the prior decade, but not annoying horrible like that was. Eventually, it passed, but not completely as it has somewhat been assimilated into idol anime. That topic deserves a whole other blog post. For now lets hypothesize on why the anime industry grabbed and gave this genre a renaissance fast.

Money Money Money Money

Duh. Not only you can sell an anime and it’s merchandise, but you can sell concerts and do all the live action idol money making like the music industry. Love Live took what Creamy Mami did and made it BIGGER! BETTER! And even had fan interaction through Dengeki G to help create and market it before it even existed. Add in other opportunities that didn’t exist at the time like mobile gaming and viola!

You know, for Kids!

I say a small part for this one. Pretty Rhythm and its successor PriPara are very much BUY OUR TOYS! It is based on an arcade game that requires buying cards, gems, and spending that yen. Like with Creamy Mami and its media geared toward girls, that didn’t stop otaku. I don’t think either of these would exist if not for…

The IdolM@ster

It did start as an arcade game in 2005. It was later ported to the Xbox 360 and has been responsible for making Japan’s ratio of sign-ups for Xbox Live compared to the number of consoles sold as the world’s highest. The stage for this era is getting prepped more each release. We got an Idolm@ster anime in 2007, 2008, 2011, and 2015.

Who's the real m@ster? Us or them?
Who’s the real m@ster? Us or them?

But will this last? My prediction is 2017. It’s already slowing down with only two in this fall season, Aikatsu 4 and Miss Monochrome 3. We have the Wake Up, Girls! movie to look forward to, but now we have stragglers whipping up less than quality idol anime to get in on trend. I’m looking at you Venus Project.

Love Live Sunshine!! may come and the whole dang genre may get a re-renaissance. Or it might be a likely be an end cap on a trend. I don’t think lightening will strike twice with that franchise.

If I’m wrong. Well, come back in 2017 and laugh at me. But what I do know is that when people do their decade in review blog posts and podcasts, idols will be talked about for being at least a half a decade worth of anime fun.

I bought my train ticket for the end of the ride.

Why Idols of Anime?

Why not?

I call my obsessions with genre’s “moods.” The appeal of the idol genre of anime showed itself to me when I was in a mecha mood. I walked into Otakon’s panelist lounge. They had a TV showing the latest anime of that season. I saw a bunch of glowing light and heard singing. It was the most colorful things I saw at the con, and anime conventions are already pretty colorful. I turned to someone and asked what this was.

“Oh. It’s AKB0048.”

“They have an anime?!” I said. I didn’t know much about them, but I did know they were very big.

“Yeah. Colorful isn’t it.” they replied. I captured this moment in a comic after the con.

i drew fast autobio comics on that year of otakon
http://starlightv.deviantart.com/

This comic represents what idol anime has done. It had mecha, catchy songs and cute girls designed to be cosplayed. How could you look away from a 17-year-old with a taser hair bow and a light saber microphone. The idol flavored haze consumed my brain and I haven’t looked back. I want to see you. I want to see you. I want to see you. YES!

Needless to say, AKB0048 became my flavor of the month. Against the 2nd season came the 1st of Love Live: School Idol Project. At first I scoffed at it because it was more on the slice of life (see also: sitcom) genre of anime. Slice of Life was something I actively ran away from because of its closeness to the moe` phenomenon the decade before. But that show was also pervasive and started its domination of my twitter timeline with its widely available phone game. I got hooked by a nico nico nii.

When I found out about other idol shows like The Idolm@ster, I realized that this is a much bigger thing than I thought. One of my fandom activities is doing panels at conventions. At the time, my big panel was Beyond Pokemon, a part clip show, part talk about how Pokemon popularized the mon genre. I thought, why not do the same with idols. At the time I already did a panel with Froborr about AKB0048 called Reading too Much into AKB0048, so I thought idols would be a good topic. Then the surprise happened.

cheering me on to become more of a WOTA.
Cheer me on idol waifu. I got a long way to go.

Holy crap! This goes even farther than Creamy Mami. The first time I ran the panel Anime Idol was at Otakon 2014 well, but needed fixes, namely the name itself to not be confused with the singing contest. So I renamed it The Idols of Anime and gave it at conventions everywhere.  It always got a very great audience who were engaged and recommended some more things to add. One con goer gave me Aikatsu cards!

In the past, when I owned a camera I did the show Viga Loves Comics. I still plan to do more with it, but it gave me the idea to adapt older and retired panels to video. Video can lift the restrictions of an hours time to infinite time. I decided Idols of Anime would be my first pick. I picked well, because it’s estimated at 30 parts. As of today, I’m on Part 6.

Another reason is that in the panel version, I didn’t get to explore a question to find the answer. That is, how does idol culture in real life effect anime idol shows. The lines are more blurred everyday with what AKB48 and μ’s have done. Maybe it was always blurred since the first media mix. Also the fans, the WOTA for these anime I believe are more like the idol otaku than before. I want to find those answers and think of more questions.

I’m Viga and I like animated idols. A group in a circle around her says “Hi, Viga.” in a room with a sign that says: WOTA Anonymous.